Many projects like this end in utter failure; it's a major challenge to take what was essentially a bare steel hull and fit out a working boat. It's said in the marine business that the hull is 20% of the project, but our experience is that the fitting-out is more like 90%! Our plan from original acquisition date 1st April 2011 (yes, April Fool's Day!) was to launch by March 31st 2012.
We did it EXACTLY on schedule! All March was a blur of activity, with numerous members and volunteers working sometimes to 4am on various projects, including:
- Hull penetration for port prop shaft (Led by Aaron Cushman) - a beautiful piece of welding leading to a solid, vibration-damped, heavy plate smooth hole for the shaft that will minimize water turbulence to the propeller, plus steel struts to hold up the shaft.
- Keel extension "fish tail", led by Aaron - a particularly clean piece of steel cutting and welding.
- Sourcing components for electric drive motor installation. Gates Worldwide donated $900 worth of belts, sprockets and bearings! The design effort was led by Matt Murfin (Mad Machinist Matt McMurfin).
- Rudder bearings turned on a massive Victorian lathe by Matt from UHMWPE, a particularly difficult material to cut to thousandth inch tolerances.
- Completing the rudder, built of mild steel with 3" rod post inside, and 316 stainless heel stub and upper rudder post shaft. Most of this effort was led by Aaron.
- Rough-in of two aft cabins on angle-iron bed frames designed by Ray Thackeray. Rene Pittet did the vast majority of the work to come up with two very comfortable full-size bed cabins side-by-side with seat and hanging closet and tons of below-bed storage space.
- Dale Bagnell for tireless work on the angle-grinder to smooth out the hawsepipes - looking sweet!
- Carl Kelley for all sorts of metalwork projects over the last year.
- Gwyn & Robin Jones for regular work on various projects.
- Joanna Karraker for tireless work on the grinder (now sailing down the California coast on a William Garden Ketch!)
- A number of new volunteers including Sean, Sandy and others who didn't leave their full names or contact details. Get in touch with me so I can add you properly to these reports!
- Protective paintwork done by Sean Matthews and Derinda Gaumond, also to make the boat look good for launching.
- Installation of throttles and generator controls in the wheelhouse by Sean from Taiwan.
Our plan is for all this work to be immortalized in a bronze plaque on the boat, but also to have volunteers paint, grind, cut, stamp or weld their names on parts they worked on!
Thanks to all for such a herculean effort to get the boat into the water, including Carl Nelson of Nelson's Marine, who went above and beyond the call of duty to move the boat and get her into the water on a Saturday evening...
Fair winds and following seas,